Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crochet School!

Nearly every single time I post a crochet project on the blog, or pin a crochet project on Pinterest, I get comments saying "Oh, I wish I could crochet!" or "if only I knew how...". Well, here's your chance - Craftyminx to the rescue!

Craftyminx Blog

Dana of Craftyminx, one of the best crochet blogs ever, is teaching crochet school in the month of October. She has a cute little syllabus and everything - and it's free! If you've been wanting to learn to crochet, now is your chance! All of Dana's crochet goodness is gorgeous, and she refers to herself as a promiscuous crafter, which cracks me up. So go check it out. Click on the photo to head to crochet school!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Are you on Pinterest?

I (like every other blogger and crafty-type person) have become obsessed with Pinterest. I think crafty folks must all be very "visual" people, so pinterest is absolutely the perfect way to catalog inspiration, tutorials, ideas, recipes, anything I want to remember for the future. I've got boards going for crochet, knitting, sewing, and a slew of "boy" boards (boy crafts, boy style, boy sewing, boy parties, ect) as well as a bunch of others. By FAR my favorite collections are the boy related ones. The Kids Clothing Week Challenge on elsie marley is coming up in October, so here are some of the things I'm pinning for inspiration.

Are you on pinterest? Come follow me or leave your link in the comments so I can see what you're pinning!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin pancake recipe

This weekend, I made pumpkin pancakes from scratch - NOT a mix.  I grew up as a box-mix, processed-food-loving, cereal-for-dinner kind of gal, but I'm trying to do more cooking from scratch for my kiddos. Plus, my husband, who grew up in a EVERYTHING from scratch family teases me for preferring Kraft Mac & Cheese to homemade. Everyone needs a little fluorescent orange food in their diet. :)

ANYWAY, the pancakes were DELICIOUS, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you.


1.5 cups of milk
4 Tbsp vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 eggs
4 Tbsp melted butter
1.5 cups pumpkin puree

1. Mix your milk and vinegar, and let them sit for 5 minutes while you put everything else together. 

2. Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl. 

3. Add eggs, butter, milk mixture, and pumpkin puree.

4. Cook on a hot griddle.

5. Add some butter and syrup.

6. Eat.

This recipe makes approximately a bazillion pancakes. Just enough to feed my 3 hungry boys and their daddy. :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Last Friday Night

Last Friday night started with pizza, a fire in the chiminea, an outdoor dance party, and s'mores...

(To answer your questions about this video in advance, YES my backyard is that messy, YES I DID let Quinn leave the house in that outfit, and YES my husband might kill me for posting this video...oh well!)

and ended with glow sticks, a movie, and a little boy camp-out in the living room.

Can't wait to see what this weekend brings! What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dig, Drop, Done

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of my very favorite fall activities with the kids is planting flower bulbs. We have a small patch in our front flower bed that I let Riley fill with flower bulbs. We call it "Riley's Garden". Not only is it fun for us to plant them in the fall, but it's fun again in the spring when the bulbs pop up and signal the end of winter. 

Dig, Drop, Done has some great inspirational bulb ideas for all kinds of gardeners. I particularly thought their depiction of Marcy, the super mom who plants her bulbs to match her children's color-coded lives to be cute. 

Since planting bulbs is always a part of our fall routine, I loved finding Curbside ChaosCurbside Chaos is a great website for learning about bulb planting. Bulbs aren't just for serious gardeners - they're great for kids to plant because they are easy to plant and simple to care for. I love 

They've also got a great tool on the website called "Garden Guru" to help you figure out which bulbs are best for you. The tool is simple to use. Just choose your country, and then region, and select the type of bulb you'd like to grow, and then check out your personalized planting guide! It's a great little tool!

If that wasn't enough reason to visit Curbside Chaos, they're giving away a $5,000 yard makeover too! All you need to do to win is submit a photo of your yard to Curbside Chaos, and you can win the makeover and a visit from Taniya Nayak to help you find the best solutions for your yard. 

Finally, for every share on Twitter, "Bulbs: Dig, Drop Done" will donate $1.00 to Rebuilding together - the nation's leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable home ownership and community revitalization. 

Be sure to visit to learn more!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Carbonite Online Backup

**This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carbonite for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.**

A few months ago, my computer crashed, and I lost EVERYTHING. Most importantly, I lost all my photos, and my entire dissertation. I was totally crushed that all my photos of my kids were gone. Sure, I still had some that I had posted online, but thousands and thousands of moments that I had captured on film were just GONE, in a second.

And then there was my dissertation. They won't give you the Ph.D. (which I've been working on for ALMOST SEVEN YEARS) without writing and defending a dissertation. My entire body of research was gone.

I'm a smart, tech-savvy lady. Of course I had all my stuff backed up, right?

Wrong. I wasn't backing up. I knew I should be using a computer backup service, but I wasn't.

There were tears. Lots of tears. And I ended up paying nearly $500 to a document recovery service to get the lost data back, and still didn't get 100% of my stuff back.

It was one of the most stressful things I've dealt with. You don't realize how much of your life is contained in your computer until it's gone. I could have saved myself a TON of time, heartache, stress and tears by using Carbonite to back up my photos and documents.

Carbonite Online Backup

Carbonite takes the worry out of backup by securely and automatically backing up your files to one of their highly secure, state-of-the-art data centers. Carbonite works continuously in the background, automatically backing up your files any time you are connected to the internet. The service is completely automatic, and you can access your files from any internet-enabled device. They even have a free mobile app so that you can access and share your files from your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, or Blackberry Smartphone. 
Carbonite has safely recovered over 7 BILLION files that otherwise might have been lost. 7 BILLION.  That is a LOT of files.

Don't be me. Plan ahead, and check out Carbonite online backup service.

You can get unlimited backup for your PC or Mac, with anytime-anywhere access for only $59 per year. You can try it free for 15 days, and if you decide to buy, enter the code BLOGAD to get 2 months free with your purchase.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Arlington Bag

My new fall bag is finally finished!

You may recognize it as a new version of the bag I made last year for fall.

I'm sort of obsessed with it.

The outer fabric is a bright yellow wool melton, and in the inside is a houndstooth home dec fabric from Sew to Speak

And yes, the pattern is coming. Photos are taken, most of the writing is done - just have to get it tested!


I'm entering this one in Christie's Purse Week contest! I feel a little weird about entering again, since I won the contest last year, but Tam and Char said I have to, so I guess I have to. :) Have you submitted an entry yet?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reproduction License for The Grandview Bag

This post won't apply to 99.99% of you, so if you're not a bag seller, you can ignore the rest of this post.

I get LOTS of inquiries about selling bags made from The Grandview Bag pattern. Up to this point, I have never granted anyone permission to sell the bags. I also get quite a few about making bags for people to purchase.

I've thought long and hard about this issue, and have decided that I'm not in a place right now where I have time to make bags for people. What I CAN do is license the design to bag makers who DO have the time to make the bags for those people who want them.

So, starting today, I'm going to offer a limited reproduction license for the Grandview Bag. The license is $10.00, and never expires. If you purchase a license to sell Grandview Bags, home sewists may make and sell as many bags as they themselves can sew. This license is NOT for mass production - it's for individuals running small, handmade businesses. You may not use my photos to sell bags - you must photograph your own creations so as to accurately represent your product. Finally, please credit me with the pattern design by adding the line "Design and Pattern by Emily at" to any online listings for the bag.

When you purchase the license, please provide your name, business name, and business url so that I can send people looking for bags in your direction! I also plan to maintain a listing on the blog of licensed sellers of the design. Click the "Buy Now" link below to get started. 

Of course, this doesn't apply to bags made for personal or charity use. Make as many for yourself, or for charity purposes as you like. If you would like a Grandview Bag for yourself, leave a comment and I will do my best to hook you up with a seller. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

How to Welcome Home Your Big Brother in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1: Make a BIG sign saying "Welcome Home Riley!"

Step 2: Stand at the bus stop with the sign.

Step 3: Amuse the brother, and all of his friends.

( They posed this photo themselves.)

Bonus step: Give brother kisses for being a good sport.

I'll admit it, I totally thought Riley was going to be embarrassed by this little show of brotherly love. Did that stop me from doing it? Not a chance. And thank goodness, because he LOVED it, and requested we stand out there every day WITH A DIFFERENT SIGN EACH DAY, Wave At The Bus style. Um, probably not happening. But it was sweet of him to ask.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Owl Cable Coffee Sleeve

You guys. I knitted something. Start to finish. From a pattern. AND it looks like I expected it to, and is functional.

It's practically a Christmas miracle.

I used this pattern to knit this owl cable coffee sleeve. Yes, those are the same owls as on the sweater I'm making. I have a thing for owls. Blame it on my college sorority days. I've gotten to the point in the sweater pattern that I need to knit the sleeves, and right after the sleeves comes the yoke with all those owl cables, so I picked this project to practice some small diameter knitting AND the owl cables at the same time. 

Things I learned while knitting this:
Double-pointed needles are dangerous.
Magic loop rocks my world.
Knitting is best done AWAY from the hands of small children, lest someone gets poked in the eye with a dpn.

You can find my Ravelry notes on yarn and needles here.   

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Body Art

I went on a little art supply binge this week. It all started with some watercolors.

Then I thought it might be fun to paint some rocks.

Then my husband got involved, and somewhere along the way, it ended up like this.

It was all daddy's idea.

 Turns out watercolors make great body paint, because they wash right off in the bathtub, no scrubbing involved. So, I've been letting Quinn paint himself basically every night for a week.

He has to make sure he paints every last spot, even behind his knees.

And he paints his little brother when mommy isn't looking. 

When they grow up and choose to cover themselves in tattoos, I'm blaming Bryan. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Manly Cowl Pattern

I'm over at Skip To My Lou today for their Holiday Bake, Craft, and Sew Along.

 You know I like a good man-project, so I'm sharing a tutorial for this cowl, modeled by my very handsome husband. Doesn't he look happy?

Doesn't he look handsome and trendy?

Yeah, well those were the only two pictures from that shoot that were normal looking. The rest looked like this.

I guess that will be the last time I ask him to model! :)

Head on over here for the tutorial

Sunday, September 11, 2011


To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9.11.01 attacks, my community placed 3,000 flags in a field behind our high school.

They also posted the names of all the victims, and had children from our district read the names throughout the day.

Bagpipes were played every hour throughout the huge display of flags.

The whole event was very moving. I found out I was pregnant with Riley 3 days before the attacks, and I remember feeling terrified on 9.11.01 that I was going to bring a child into a world where people did this terrible thing to one another. I struggled today to impart the emotion of the occasion to Riley.

For those of you in the States, did you or your community do anything to mark the occasion? How do you talk to your kids about 9.11?
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